Places to Visit in Provence
- St. Tropez
Unique Things to See and Do in Provence
- Visit the birthplace of Nostradamus in Saint-Remy-de-Provence
- Wander the streets of the Old Port in Marseille
- Visit the Fragonard Perfume Factory in Grasse
- Try socca in Nice, a tasty chickpea pancake!
- Visit the Palais des Papes, the largest Gothic palace in the world
Touring Provence Countryside
The university town of Aix-en-Provence is the perfect inspirational town for budding artists looking for that creative flair. This town was the birthplace for the late Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanee and claims this for its “tourist pull,” but the real beauty is in the narrow streets, public squares, weekday markets, and “French air.” Be sure to walk down the Cours Mirabeau. This tree-lined boulevard with beautiful fountains flowing in the middle is a perfect walk after dinner.
Anyone interested in Roman history will want to tour through the quiet town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Also known for being the city where Van Gogh was medically treated at the Monastery de Mausole, you’ll find many tributes to him here.
Olive trees, rocky shores, and a village dating back to 6,000 BC is the perfect setting for some stunning photography. Located about 25km outside of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, the Chateau des Baux is a castle perched high above the village where you can feel the strong Mistral winds most days.
There are two main reasons to visit Digne-les-Bains: the lavender fields and the thermal springs! Seeing field upon field of purple-blue lavender plants is breathtaking and provides a perfect picture of Provence. The lavender is used in the perfumes created, however you can also enjoy a lavender bath in the thermal springs!
Hosting the largest outdoor market in the Luberon area, this village has beautiful plane trees, meandering streams, and the most famous antique market in all of France. With over 300 stalls, the market is fantastic for cafes, pizzerias, and restaurants situated along canals.
Did you know…?
Located in Nimes, France, Maison Carrée is considered the best preserved Roman temple.
Did you ALSO know…?
The wild horses of Camargue are an ancient breed that still live in the wetlands of the Rhone Valley, France.
Getting Around Provence
Travelling through France is easily done by train with access to cities, towns and villages. However many of the sights are usually just out of reach of the train stations. If you want to visit the wineries in Avignon, see the countryside in Luberon, or drive the winding roads along the coastline, renting a car is a fairly inexpensive option and you can rent them just for a day which makes day trips out of the villages much easier. You’ll need a valid driver’s license and your passport, and a deposit on your credit card. Always fill up with gas when you can because the countryside has few gas stations.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Provence
Travelling through Provence has become really popular during the summer months (when it is the driest), yet in the past the French Riviera was a haven for the winter months. In the eastern part of Provence you can experience some strong Mistral winds from the north/northwest, and that can bring the temperature down quite a bit. Most of Provence experiences dry summers and mild winters. Temperatures range from 23C at the lowest and go as high as 35C in the height of summer.
If you’ve been to Provence before, please share your own secret spots and insider tips in the comment section below.
Ready to plan your visit to Provence? Check out these popular guides and trips.